News Release

Nine Sworn In to Serve on the Board of Directors of Nation’s Criminal Defense Bar

Washington, DC (Aug. 20, 2020) – Nine individuals were sworn in to serve on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) at the Association’s annual meeting, which was held on August 15. The nine board members below join those who are currently serving their terms on the NACDL Board of Directors.

Melissa Bobrow – San Diego, CA

Melissa Bobrow is a criminal defense attorney at her solo practice, the Law Office of Melissa Bobrow APC. She focuses on criminal defense and white collar criminal defense, representing individuals, landlords, and businesses in local, state, and federal criminal investigations and cases. Melissa was the 2012 recipient of the San Diego Criminal Defense Bar Association’s Thomas Adler Scholarship, which allowed her to attend the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia. She serves on the Fourth Amendment, Immigration Law, Social Media, White Collar Crime, and Women in Criminal Defense Committees. Melissa received her J.D. from California Western School of Law and was awarded their inaugural Rising Star Award in 2014.

Seth P. Chazin – Berkeley/San Francisco, CA

Seth P. Chazin has been a criminal defense attorney in the San Francisco/Bay Area for over 30 years and has been a Certified Criminal Law Specialist since 2001. He has defended thousands of clients in Federal, State, and Juvenile courts throughout California, and in Federal District Courts in various jurisdictions throughout the United States, facing felony and misdemeanor charges for all types of criminal offenses including capital murder, complex white collar crimes, and sex crimes. Mr. Chazin began his career as a Deputy Public Defender and then moved on to work as a Deputy State Public Defender in San Francisco where, along with a colleague, he successfully investigated and presented the actual innocence claim of a client on death row which ultimately resulted in his client’s release - one of only five innocent people that have ever been freed from California’s Death Row. Mr. Chazin has served on the CJA Trial Panel for the Northern District of California at various times since 2003. In that capacity, in 2009, he tried one of the first MS-13 gang cases to go to trial on the west coast. His client was acquitted of all charges. Mr. Chazin has a particular specialization in defending individuals accused of committing sex crimes, trying numerous cases involving serious sex offenses while obtaining acquittals or a misdemeanor conviction in all but one case. He served as a member of the Board of Governors of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ) from 2014-2020. Mr. Chazin is currently collaborating with the Florida League of Women Voters to help restore the voting rights of convicted felons. He received his B.S. from the University of Florida, Gainesville, and his J.D. from Golden Gate University.

Angelica Cogliano – Austin, TX

Angelica Cogliano is a criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of E.G. Morris. She is passionate about indigent defense and serves on the NACDL Public Defense Committee. Angelica has been active in Texas during the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteering to assist the leaders of the fight against GA-13, an executive order which aimed to prevent the release of anyone charged with a crime involving violence or the threat of violence, and anyone who had previously been convicted, at any time, of a crime involving violence or the threat of violence. As of April 2020, the order was being reviewed by appellate courts at the state and federal level. Angelica is a member of the Trial Lawyers College Alumni Board of Directors. She received her J.D. from Emory University.

Stephen Ross Johnson – Knoxville, TN

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Stephen Ross Johnson is a partner at Ritchie, Dillard, Davies and Johnson, P.C., where he defends people and companies in state and federal courts throughout the United States. His cases focus on a wide range of criminal defense, from complex white collar financial matters to death penalty cases. In addition to his private practice, Stephen has been involved in the innocence movement in Tennessee for nearly two decades. He co-founded and directed the Innocence Clinic at the University of Tennessee College of Law, where he supervised law students as an adjunct professor. In 2018, he helped form the Tennessee Innocence Project where he remains President of the Board of Directors. Stephen has served two terms on the NACDL Board and is currently Sixth Circuit vice-chair of NACDL’s Amicus Committee, Sixth Circuit coordinator for the Lawyers’ Assistance Strike Force, and co-chair of NACDL’s Membership Committee. He serves on the White Collar Defense, Sentencing, and Investment Committees in addition to the Risk Assessment, Rule 16.1, and Criminal Court Reopening Task Forces for NACDL. Stephen is a Past President of the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and is President of the Hamilton Burnett American Inn of Court. He graduated from Carson-Newman University, the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and the University of Tennessee College of Law.

Abasi Major – San Antonio, TX

Abasi Major is a senior associate at Goldstein & Orr, where he focuses on federal and state criminal litigation, as well as federal civil forfeiture cases and pro bono matters. He is a member of NACDL and the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and the William S. Sessions American Inn of Court. Abasi graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and received his J.D. from St. Mary’s University School of Law, where he wrote a thesis on the decline of jury trials in the state of Texas.

Timothy McCarthy – West Des Moines, IA

Timothy McCarthy is a Life Member of NACDL, a partner at McCarthy & Hamrock P.C., and is joining the NACDL Board of Directors for a second term. Since his first term in 2017, Timothy has remained active in the organization by serving on the Membership Committee, Mental Health Committee, Executive Committee, and the Budget Committee, and was asked to serve as a regional delegate for the Membership Committee. He is also a member of the Iowa Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Timothy represents clients accused of crimes at both the state and federal level. He was a Diamond Defender at the 2018 NACDL Foundation for Criminal Justice spring gala in New York, a Sentinel of Truth donor at the 2019 Awards Dinner in Philadelphia, and also received a Presidential Commendation in Philadelphia from Past President Drew Findling for his efforts on behalf of NACDL. He received his B.A. from Drake University and his J.D. from Drake University Law School.

Kathy Stilling – Brookfield, WI

Kathy Stilling is a partner at the law firm Buting, Williams & Stilling, S.C., where her practice is exclusively devoted to criminal defense, trial and appeals, with a focus on sex crimes. A member of NACDL for almost twenty-five years, Kathy has freely shared her experience handling these difficult cases by speaking at multiple conferences over the years and writing two articles on the subject for NACDL’s magazine, The Champion. Since 2012, Kathy has been a co-chair of the annual NACDL Sex Crimes Seminar in Las Vegas. In addition to her contributions to NACDL, Kathy is a founding member and Past President (1993-94) of the Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, which presented her with the William Coffey Award for "exceptional contributions to professionalism in the field of criminal justice" in 2016. She received her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Wisconsin and is proud to have started her career as a staff lawyer with the Wisconsin State Public Defender.

Diego Weiner – Miami, FL

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Diego Weiner is a criminal defense lawyer at Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A. where he specializes in state, federal, and international criminal cases. Diego is involved in investigation and pre-arrest representation, criminal trial practice, and criminal appellate practice. He has represented clients in state and federal districts, as well as in three foreign countries. In addition to serving on the Fourth Amendment Committee, Diego was recently elected to the Board of Directors for the Miami Chapter of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He graduated from McDaniel College and received his J.D. from St. Thomas University School of Law.

Richard Willstatter – White Plains, NY

Richard Willstatter is a criminal defense lawyer and partner at the Law Offices of Green & Willstatter, where he focuses on criminal trials and appeals in New York and Federal courts. Richard has been a member of NACDL since 1992 and has served as Second Circuit vice-chair of the Amicus Curiae Committee since 2002. He has also authored two articles for NACDL’s magazine, The Champion, and presented at NACDL’s 2017 Forensics CLE. Within his state of New York, Richard is a member of the CJA Panel for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, and remains active in NACDL’s New York state affiliate, the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NYSACDL). He joined the NYSACDL Board of Directors in 2004 and served until his election as President in 2012. Richard graduated from Dickinson College and received his J.D. from Duke University School of Law.


Kate Holden, NACDL Public Affairs and Communications Assistant, (202) 465-7624 or

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal justice system.

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